Here’s why flip flops are dangerous

Ah, flip flops. So breezy, so cool. So ... dangerous?

“Sadly, yes,” says RVNA’s Gigi Weiss, MSPT, director of Rehabilitation Services. “Their appealing characteristics — lightweight, minimally structured, easy to slip in and out of — often lead to debilitating conditions, including back pain, knee pain, plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis,” she explains.

Many flip flops have thin soles and minimal arch support. “This can wreak havoc on your kinetic chain — the muscles, connective tissues, joints, bones and nerves that work together — causing back or knee pain.”

Plus, because your toes must work constantly to grip your flip flops, plantar fasciitis can develop. This painful condition results from inflammation of the fibrous tissue along the bottom of your foot. The lack of support can also cause unnatural strain in the Achilles tendon (which connects your calf to your heel bone), setting you up for tendonitis.

Patients who visit RVNA Rehab with any of these conditions are generally prescribed a routine that includes biomechanical stretches. But prevention is the best medicine, stresses Weiss. “If you love wearing flip flops, purchase a pair with good orthotic support. And try to avoid wearing flip flops exclusively.”

Theresa Santoro